SHREVEPORT, La. – Gonzaga University pounded out 15 hits and put up 12 runs in support of Ryan Carpenter's strong starting pitching performance to post a 12-5 victory over Centenary College Saturday afternoon.
The Zags snapped a four-game losing skid to move their record to 3-4 with the win over the Gents (5-5). Carpenter (1-1) followed Cody Martin's dominating pitching performance on Friday night with one of his own, allowing just three earned runs and striking out six over seven innings to earn his first win of the season.
Each player in the Bulldogs starting lineup recorded at least one hit and scored at least one run led by Andy Hunter's two hits and three RBI. Lead-off hitter Drew Heid had a home run and a triple while Clayton Eslick and Ernesto Ortiz each drove in two runs.
Heid got the Zags on track early, leading off the game with his first homer of the season. Carpenter held the Gents in check the first time through the order, not allowing a hit or a walk during that span before Centenary struck for three runs in the fourth inning to take a 3-1 lead.
Gonzaga answered back in a big way in fifth inning though as Heid was at it again, leading off the frame with a triple into the right centerfield gap. A Chris Sturdivant ground out scored Heid and after Hunter earned a walk, Royce Bolinger doubled to put two runners on with one out. A passed ball allowed Hunter to score and an Eslick RBI single scored Bolinger to put GU up 4-3. The Zags didn't stop there as Mark Castellitto was hit by a pitch and both Eslick and Castellitto both moved up on another passed ball by the Gents. Sean Wilson and Cameron Edman both walked to score a run and Ortiz came to the plate and promptly singled back up the middle to score two more runs. Heid then grounded a ball to the second baseman who threw to shortstop for the force out at second but Heid was able to beat the throw at first to extend the inning. Edman later came across for the seventh run of the inning to open up an 8-3 lead.
After Carpenter held the Gents scoreless in the fifth, Gonzaga added two more runs in their half of the sixth inning. Sturdivant started the inning with an infield single and Hunter followed with a double to score Sturdivant. Bolinger then singled to put runners on the corners. Hunter pushed the Bulldogs lead to 10-3 after he came home on a ground ball double play.
Carpenter continued to deal, sitting the Gents down in order in the sixth and seventh as the Zags added single runs in the seventh and ninth innings on sacrifice fly outs by Hunter. Relievers Jacob Hiatt and Andrew Danner pitched the final two innings to preserve an eventual 12-5 Gonzaga win.
The Bulldogs will send left-hander Reedy Berg to the mound in the series-finale set for 10 a.m. (PST) Sunday.
Bobby Alworth, Gonzaga University Sports Information